UNC Baseball: Tar Heels well represented in the MLB Draft


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The MLB Draft took place from June 6th to 8th, the annual talent search for the 30 Major League Baseball teams. Overall, 8 current and committed Tar Heels were selected in the draft, ranging from first round selections to 31st round picks. Here is a look at all the Tar Heels picked in the draft.

Colin Moran is one of the most developed college bats in the game, and one of the top MLB-ready prospects in the MLB draft this year. He fell to the Marlins at number 6 overall in the first round. It was a good pick for the Marlins, because they have shown to be willing to call up prospects early in the Majors rather than keeping them in the minors, an experiment they tried with Jose Fernandez and Marcezll Ozuna so Moran would be able to handle the call up if the Marlins decide to bring him up later this year or as their Opening Day third baseman next season. Overall, it was a good pick for the Marlins as they reload their mostly bare farm system. One other note on Moran was that there were rumors that he might have gone number one overall to the Astros, because he would have demanded less of a signing price than pitchers Jonathon Gray or Mark Appel, allowing the Astros to spend more money in the later rounds of the draft getting more quality picks with the extra money. The Astros decided in this draft to go with the top-tier talent over the depth, selecting Appel number one overall.

June 1, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tarheels starting pitcher Kent Emanuel (41) delivers a pitch against the Towson Tigers during the Chapel Hill Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament at Boshamer Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kent Emanuel has been the Tar Heel ace seemingly since he stepped on his mound his freshman year. The lefty has posted a 2.33 era his freshman year, and topped that with a 1.96 era in his sophomore campaign. He is very polished with a good fastball and change-up, and his breaking ball will continue to improve with his experience.  He has won many awards and was the pitcher of the year in the ACC this season. The Astros selected him with the first pick in the third round in this years draft, and he should be able to help the Astros farm system pitching depth and may be ready to make a major league debut as early as a call up next season.

The other Tar Heels selected in the 2013 MLB Draft were Cody Stubbs in the 8th round to the Royals, Brian Holberton in the 9th round to the Astros, Hobbs Johnston to the Brewers in the 14th round and Chaz Frank in the 20th round to the Blue Jays. Stubbs is a lefty first basemen for the Heels with a big bat. He hit .372 in his senior year for the Tar Heels and could play either outfield or first base for the Royals. Holberton is another versatile player who was drafted as a catcher but played both outfield and catcher . Hobbs Johnston’s draft stock was elevated after his great performance in the ACC tournament game against NC State. The lefty overall has been great for UNC and boasts a 1.83 career earned run average. Finally, Franz is an ideal leadoff hitter who can move a little bit on the base paths and gets on base well, with a .303 season average so far.

Some of Carolina’s recruits were also drafted in the MLB draft this year, and we will see if these high schoolers decide to sign with their respective MLB teams or decide to head to Chapel Hill in the fall. Rob Kaminsky was drafted 28th overall by the Saint Louis Cardinals this year. The lefty from New Jersey has not alluded to which way he will go, but UNC does have a good track record in being able to keep recruits even after they are tempted by big money and the bright lights of the MLB. AJ Bogucki was also drafted in the 31st round by the Twins, but because the pick was so low you can bet on seeing him in a Carolina uniform next Spring.